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The Parfumerie To Cure Your Nostalgia

The Parfumerie To Cure Your Nostalgia

The other day I went into Celine, which recently I’ve decided this coming autumn season will be my new favourite brand. Goodbye Versace! Goodbye Saint Laurent! Farewell and I wish you good stead on your travels. Out with the old and in with the new. No, but really, lately I’ve been wanting to dress like Kaia Gerber, and since she’s the face of a Celine it sort of seemed like the natural progression.

I went in and bought a pair of loafers. I finally gave in to the chunky loafer trend, after resisting the Prada version with gritted teeth for almost two whole seasons (willpower? I know her!) I caved and bought the Mocassin Margaret in a beautiful oaky brown – apparently the new It shoe at Celine.

When I was waiting for my shopping assistant to pack up those delectable little trotters, I decided to sample their parfumerie consisting of 10 sleek and sexy perfumes, presented in a hefty glass bottle with a substantial black lid that snaps satisfyingly into place after application. Let me tell you, if you ever see a woman slowly but surely making her way down the perfume table smelling every single one like an obsessed person, it’s most probably, definitely, me. Candles, incense, perfumes… It’s like a 13-year-old boy playing Pokémon – I’ve just gotta smell ‘em all!

Anyway, good thing I did, because I discovered that Celine’s parfumeur has got to be one of the best in the biz. Not only did I find my new favourite perfume (it could be my signature scent! Only time will tell…) but I also discovered that all of their perfumes are so reminiscent of a time and place that everyone can relate to that it’s almost spooky.

‘La Peau Nue’ was the first one I smelt and it almost bowled me over as it smelled exactly like my grandmother’s lipstick. Like exactly! You couldn’t make it up. It’s like a more mature version of MAC lipstick, I.e. nostalgia in a lipstick/Celine perfume! I feel like everyone has a memory of either watching their mother make up their face or rifling through their mother’s beauty drawer, trying on their good red lipstick and blunting it in the process (guilty!). This perfume smells exactly like that memory, I promise you.

‘Nightclubbing’ has all the glamour and grit that you would expect from a night out, smelling of expensive perfume and other people’s cigarette smoke to create an alluring, decadent scent that only women who live in Paris and frequent underground sex clubs made up of millionaires in the penthouse of a skyscraper would wear. Very jealous, not sure I could pull it off, but if I tried I would probably morph back into a smoker who hangs out at the Box on Saturdays. Yes, that was once me.  

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Another extremely lavish-like fragrance, ‘Black Tie’ reminds me of being a kid standing at the foot of the stairs, watching my dad drape my mother’s shawl over her shoulders as they left for an important dinner or gala, my mum’s perfume and my dad’s cologne wafting over to me as a signifier of all of the grownup and fancy moments they would have and I would miss stuck at home with the nanny. Now, it reminds me of dressing up, which as someone who usually dresses up for most occasions, dressing up is a big deal for me, and usually means a very expensive dress and a night to remember. Hopefully we can have more of those in 2022.

My favourite scent, which is not totally dissimilar to the similarly named ‘California Reverie’ from Van Cleef & Ariel’s, Celine’s ‘Eau de Californie’ is fresh and earthy, with notes of bergamot, patchouli, and palo santo accord. It gives the excitement of being in cool California, while also embracing the outdoorsy lifestyle that Californians (and me) love so much. A little hippie, a lot cool, and with an air of je ne sais quoi, ‘Eau de Californie’ is my next purchase from Celine… although some denim jeans might have to fight for that title.